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Gucci Group Taps HR Exec

Gucci Group has named Deborah Rowland its new executive vice president, global human resources, effective Jan. 10.

PARIS — Gucci Group has named Deborah Rowland its new executive vice president, global human resources, effective Jan. 10.

Rowland succeeds Karen Lombardo, who plans to retire at the end of 2010 following a 25-year career with Gucci, during which it evolved from an Italian leather goods maker into a global luxury conglomerate controlled by France’s PPR.

A British national, Rowland joins Gucci Group from Transcend, a London-based organizational consultancy, where her two business partners will succeed her.

At Gucci Group, she will report to Robert Polet, president and chief executive officer, and will be based in Lugano, Switzerland.

Rowland has also been a coach to the president and executive team at oil firm Shell during its European reorganization, and director of organization and management development at PepsiCo.

Lombardo joined Gucci America in 1985 to develop the HR function, and in 1997 was appointed vice president of human resources for Gucci Group America. In 2004, she was named worldwide director of human resources.

She is credited with strengthening the group’s identity, culture and global approach. She developed leadership development programs and conferences, along with performance evaluation systems and succession planning across the group’s brands, which range from Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga to Sergio Rossi and Boucheron.